The Corner

Rep. Peter King Seeks Answers on DOJ Decision Not to Prosecute Islamists

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King has fired off a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding answers about why political appointees in the Obama Justice Department stopped efforts to prosecute Islamist groups shown by the evidence at the Holy Land Foundation case to have been complicit in the Muslim Brotherhood-driven conspiracy to support Hamas during the Intifada.

In the letter, which has now been posted on the Committee’s website, Rep. King says he has learned

that the decision not to seek indictments of the Council on American Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) and its co-founder Omar Ahmad, the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”), and the North American Islamic Trust (“NAIT”), was usurped by high-ranking officials at Department of Justice headquarters over the vehement and stated objections of special agents and supervisors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, who had investigated and successfully prosecuted the Holy Land Foundation case. Their opposition to this decision raises serious doubt  that the decision not to prosecute was a valid exercise of prosecutorial discretion. 

As Patrick Poole has noted, the Justice Department has stonewalled him and Pajamas Media in their attempts to uncover details of DOJ’s decision to decline prosecution. Chairman King, however, observes that the public record tells us there is considerable proof already known about these groups. As he reminds AG Holder, 

in a previously sealed Memorandum Opinion Order of July 1, 2009, United States District Judge Jorge A. Solis declined CAIR, ISNA and NAIT’s August 14, 2007 and June 18, 2008 requests to strike their names from the United States Attorney’s list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case.  Judge Solis found that the “Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with [the Holy Land Foundation, “HLF”], the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP” [ACMIAP was another Muslim Brotherhood tentacle]), and with Hamas.” The Court found that the evidence was “sufficient to show the association of these entities with HLF, IAP, and Hamas. Thus, maintaining the names of the entities on the List is appropriate in light of the evidence proffered by the Government” (citation omitted). At minimum, FBI testimony established that Mr. Ahmad [i.e., Omar Ahmad, the top CAIR official whose indictment DOJ is reported to have prevented] attended a meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in which participants discussed how they could support Hamas, including by raising funds for this terrorist group. NAIT was similarly unsuccessful in its subsequent request to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to have its name removed from the list of co-conspirators. 

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the Department of State since October 9, 1997, and its status was reconfirmed by the most recent annual report of the National Counterterrorism Center, issued April 30, 2010[.] Hamas shamefully conducts cowardly suicide bombings against civilian targets inside Israel. Hamas also, between 2008 and 2009, conducted 2,614 indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks upon residential areas in that country, an ally of the United States.  According to the State Department, Hamas finances its terrorist activities “through state sponsors of terrorism Iran and Syria, and fundraising networks in the Arabian Peninsula, Europe, the Middle East, [and] the United States” (emphasis added). It raises the most serious question for the Justice Department to decline to even attempt to prosecute individuals and organizations, accused by a US Attorney and found by a federal judge, to have a nexus with fundraising for an organization which conducts terror attacks upon civilians.

King specifically asks why DOJ declined to prosecute the unindicted coconspirators, who made the final decision not to prosecute, and whether the White House had input in that decision. These are important questions, for sure, but King’s Committee should also be pressing the Justice Department on what communications it has had with Islamic organizations regarding decisions about terrorism support prosecutions. Moreover, apropos what I discussed in my weekend column, the Committee should ascertain what policies DOJ and the Obama administration have put in place to ease what President Obama claimed were restrictions on Muslim charitable giving. (As I argue in the column, since there are no restrictions on Muslim charitable giving in U.S. law, the only thing the president could have been talking about is cutting back on the enforcement of federal laws that prohibit material support to terrorist organizations — which are well known to use Islamic charities as fronts for the transfer of money to terrorists.) 

It’s a welcome development that Congress is taking an interest in this. It is also no surprise that, again, it’s Pete King leading the charge — knowing that he will be vilified for doing so by the Justice Department’s favorite Islamists.

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